Friday, October 19, 2012

Multi Layer Hair Bow with BottleCap Tutorial

As promised, I am posting a picture tutorial of how to put together a multiple layer hair bow.  Or at least how I do it.  Two of my girls are in a local Youth Dance and Cheer Team, and the colors for the group are red, black and white.  So, being the handy little lady I am (cough cough, I know!), I decided to make them hair bows just to wear to practice and fund raisers.  A few moms commented that they like them, so while making some to pass out to other girls, I took lots of pictures to show how I completed this masterpiece cute hair bow.

I used 7/8 inch grosgrain black ribbon and 7/8 inch grosgrain "cheer" ribbon for the first part.  I cut three lengths 4 inches long, of each type of ribbon. 
The top layer is going to be a totally different type of bow, so for that I used 5/8 inch grosgrain red ribbon.  With this, I also cut 3 lengths, but these are 6 inches long.
On the black and cheer ribbon, I cut the ends at an angle.  To do this, fold the end of the ribbon in half and cut at an angle, from the outside down to the folded side. It should look like this as it's cut.
This is what all 6 lengths look like after being cut and heat sealed. If you aren't familiar with heat sealing, it's just running a lighter or other heat source (I think a lighter is quickest and easiest personally) over the ends QUICKLY to singe them and prevent any fraying.

 At this point, I use a CRAFT Needle, not a sewing needle, to start sewing the ribbon into shape. Sewing needles are frail, while craft needles are more durable. The color of the thread you choose makes no difference. You shouldn't see it on the finished product. I like to use a contrasting color just so I can see it better. 


Now you want to take your first ribbon, fold it in half in the middle, then turn the edges BACK on itself.  Not sure how to explain that and it was hard to get a picture.  Think of a bow tie, or for me, I kept thinking of a paper airplane.  You folded the paper in half, then folded each "wing" back so that you got a kind of accordion fold.  This fold makes the ribbon POP when it's all put together.  Using the craft needle and thread, stitch each of the six 4 inch ribbon cuts so that it maintains this bow tie shape.  It will take at least 5 or 6 stitches, just going over and over the same area, for it to keep it's shape. 
Once you are done with all six pieces, assemble the 3 matching colors together and stitch again to ensure they form a tight flowery type shape. Again, this would be next to impossible with a regular sewing needle.  IF you do not have a craft needle, you CAN just wrap thread around the ribbon individually above, and also in the cluster below.  However, I would fear that the wrap method might not hold the shape quite as tight. 

Now for the top layer.  Using the 6 inch strands of the 5/8 inch ribbon, again, seal the edges.  But no fancy cuts are necessary.  Make a circle with this ribbon as shown below. 

When you pinch the sides of this circle together, it should look like this.  I forgot to take a picture of this stitching, but sew this ribbon together, as you see it below.  The two ends should be part of the folded area.  I really don't think you could wrap this, but you could hot glue it if you needed to.  As much as I personally despise sewing, I think these are so much stronger and tighter in their shape when you hand stitch them. 
After you have sewn together (or otherwise assembled) the three narrower ribbons, lay them together as shown and stitch them together, similar to how you did the first two.
Now I reach for my hot glue gun.  I actually used my smaller gun on these.  It doesn't get as hot, and since I will be working with metal in a few minutes, I prefer that the glue not be quite as hot!  I use the glue gun to assemble the first two flowery ribbons assembled.  Twist them, turn them, use the glue to get the desired look with your ribbons.

Then hot glue (warm glue, whatever) the center of the top, narrower ribbon piece you assembled. And attach to the TOP of the ribbon you put together above.

I like to use alligator clips with teeth.  One of my daughters has ridiculously fine blond hair, and the other has very THICK hair, so the teeth help in both cases, to keep the bow in place.  I cut a small piece of felt, usually try to make it the same color as the lowest layer of ribbon.  Should be long enough to cover the top part of the clip with maybe 1/2 inch or so on each side, for attaching to the bow.  This will also help form a stronger bond to the bow.  Attached by itself, the clips tend to pop off.  But you can be more generous with adhesive when you incorporate a piece of felt.

Glue it to the bottom of your bow.

These are 1 inch circular designs I chose and purchased from a seller on Etsy.  The 1 inch design fits perfectly into a bottle cap.  If you have never used bottle cap designs in anything, they are really fun.  You can of course, add any other embellishment to finish off your bows, but I am in love with bottle caps right now!

These designs are printed on photo paper, so they are thick and glossy.  I use my one inch circle punch to cut out the design I chose for the top of the bow. Sticking with the cheer theme, I chose the one below, Peach, Love and Cheerleading.

Using a black bottle cap, the color I thought offset this whole design well, I put a few pop dots inside the bottle cap, and then attached the design I cut above.

I have tried a lot of different ways to seal designs into the bottle caps.  This has become my favorite, as it's the EASIEST!  I bought these Spare Parts epoxy stickers at Hobby Lobby.  There are 24 to a pack, and regular priced, a pack is $2.99.  However, if you know me, I NEVER pay full price.  About once a month, Hobby Lobby puts Spare Parts on sale for 50% off.  Then I stock up!  24 stickers for $1.50 is so much better, don't ya' think?
It only takes one sticker on top of your design within the bottle cap.  Now it's pretty much sealed and now it's even shinier!  Hot glue (warm glue, whatever you prefer with a STRONG bond) the bottle cap on the top of the bow. Here is the finished product! 

I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial.  These are lots of fun.  I would have tried a video, but my kids simply do NOT cooperate and I think hearing me scream at them during a video would take away from the purpose.
Hope this helped!  Would love to see some other designs you make!  Different colors, patterns, even use the techniques to mix and match lots of different hair bows.  Sometime I just make bows with just the initial design but instead of 3 lengths, I use 4, in two different blends of ribbon.  I would just recommend you remember to keep in mind the width of the ribbon, and keep the same type.  This was done using all grosgrain ribbon.  Had I used satin and grosgrain mixed, it would not look good.  Sometimes in our haste to make something, we fall in love with colors or designs and neglect to notice different widths or material.
Happy Scrapping, have a wonderful weekend!!!  God Bless!!!

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